It’s Sunday morning, and it looks like your goal to make it to church on time will finally be realized because your ward is at 1 p.m. With several hours for your family to get ready, you figure you have enough time to make everyone a healthy breakfast, iron clothes, finish the Primary lesson and get everyone dressed. You may even be able to get a comfortable seat with a view and easy access to the exit should you need it.
Unfortunately, the clock reads 12:35 p.m., and while everyone is dressed and ready to leave, it's lunch time. So, after hurrying to make a meal for your hungry family, that results in needing to do a wardrobe change for your 2-year-old, who managed to smash the half-eaten tuna sandwich all over his blue corduroy pants.
Due to the unplanned events, you find yourself barely making it in time for the opening hymn to start, and you end up sitting in the hard chairs in the overflow.
Well, the great thing about church is it is the place for second, third and even a million chances. Here are a few tips to help plan for Sunday morning, whether church meetings start at 9 a.m. or 1 p.m.
1. Set a weekend routine.
"Saturday is a special day. It's the day we get ready for Sunday: We clean the house, and we shop at the store, so we won't have to work until Monday. We brush our clothes, and we shine our shoes, and we call it our get-the-work-done day. Then we trim our nails, and we shampoo our hair, so we can be ready for Sunday!"
The words to that Primary song were written over 100 years ago, and may or may not apply to today’s busy lifestyle. Saturdays can often be as busy as any other day with sport activities, recitals and even work or travel. If it isn’t possible to get things done the day before, it is imperative that you have some sort of system in place.
It may mean getting up early to iron clothes. Have a later and large breakfast if you have a later meeting schedule, or a light one if it is earlier. Have a church bag in the hall closet that is filled with things such as paper, crayons and snacks to get through sacrament meeting that you can grab on your way out.
It may take some experimenting and planning, but do find and set the routine that works for you and your family.
2. Set the mood.
You’ve no doubt heard many parents testify that playing calm or even religious music while getting ready for church has helped set the mood for a successful Sunday morning. You may have even rolled your eyes a time or two when hearing them talk.
But have you tried it? Just try it.
Genesis 2 says that “on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it. ”
As restless as Sunday can be, it shouldn’t be that way. Get ready for church with a restful mind and spirit. Don’t stress the morning, but know that everything will be OK.
Yes, even if your child smells like tuna.
Arianne Brown is a mother of seven young children who loves hearing and sharing stories. For more of her writings, search “A Mother’s Write” on Facebook. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: A_Mothers_Write